Early Intervention & Oral Cancer Detection
At Kozica Dental, our top priority is maintaining our patients’ health. We use state-of-the-art dental technology and procedures to assess, evaluate, identify, and treat dental and oral health issues. Our oral cancer screenings in Worcester, MA, can offer early oral cancer detection and intervention, and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. We use a precise, highly accurate intraoral camera to complete our thorough oral cancer exam. This allows our dentist to look for lesions, abnormalities, and other signs of oral cancer.
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a thorough examination performed by a dentist or doctor. During an oral cancer exam, they look for signs of precancerous conditions, abnormalities, lesions, and tumors. The goal is to offer early oral cancer detection so that you will have the best chance of a favorable outcome. Our dentist uses an advanced intraoral camera and digital x-rays to obtain detailed, precise images of your teeth, gums, tissues, and more.
High Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
You may be at a higher risk for developing oral cancer if you have a family history of cancer or have had a previous oral cancer diagnosis. Other risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use, such as cigarettes, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, and cigars
- Heavy and/or prolonged alcohol use or abuse
- Significant sun exposure
- A history of HPV
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer can increase your chances of early oral cancer detection. If you have a high risk of oral cancer or a family history of cancer, you should conduct self-screenings or assessments regularly and schedule preventive dental care. Be sure to let us know before your dental screening begins if you’re concerned about your risk of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer are:
- A sore in the mouth or on the lip that doesn’t heal and/or gets worse over time
- A white or red patch on the inside of your mouth
- Loose teeth
- A growth of lump inside your mouth or throat
- Mouth, jaw, or gum pain
- Ear pain
- Trouble swallowing or pain when swallowing
When Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
We may recommend that you get an oral cancer screening if you are at high risk of oral cancer. Our goal is to catch and detect oral cancer at an early enough stage that you have as many treatment options as possible. Early oral cancer detection means your lesions or cancer cells are easier to remove and you may experience fewer complications and reduce risks associated with oral cancer.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
Before your oral cancer screening, your dentist will go over exactly what to expect, and will outline the procedures they will perform and how long it will take, and will try to minimize your anxiety and stress. The dentist will begin with a thorough visual examination of your:
- Cheek lining
- The floor and roof of your mouth
Your dentist may feel for lumps or bumps around your face, neck, and jaw, and may use an intraoral camera, which takes high-resolution images and video of your mouth and displays them on a large monitor screen. Digital x-rays may further aid your oral cancer exam and dental screening. If an abnormality, lesion, or damaged tissue is found, the area will be swabbed and sent it to an outside laboratory for oral cancer tests.
How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
Oral cancer is diagnosed through oral cancer tests that are completed at an outside laboratory or testing agency. These tests include:
- Cytology – Collecting cells from your mouth with a cotton swab, wooden stick, or brush. These cells are then analyzed by a pathologist to determine if they are abnormal.
- Biopsy – Removing a portion of abnormal tissue. This tissue is then tested by a pathologist to look for cancer cells.
Schedule an Oral Cancer Exam in Worcester, MA
If you have noticed any signs or symptoms of oral cancer, or you’re at an increased risk of oral cancer, call us today or contact us online. We can schedule an oral cancer exam and dental screening using our advanced dental technology. We may be able to offer early oral cancer detection and intervention.